Mulberry plant as a source of functional food with therapeutic and nutritional applications: A review

J Food Biochem. 2022 Nov;46(11):e14263. doi: 10.1111/jfbc.14263. Epub 2022 May 31.


Medicinal plants from the family Moraceae have diverse applications in agriculture, cosmetics, food, and the pharmaceutical industry. Their extensive spectrum of pharmacological activity for treating numerous inflammatory illnesses, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and gastrointestinal problems reflects their biological and therapeutic value. This article summarizes the molecular mechanisms related to the biological implications of mulberry extracts, fractions, and isolated bioactive compounds from different parts in various health-related ailments. Additionally, the food industry and animal nutrition applications are summarized. Phytochemicals such as steroids, saponins, alkaloids, glycosides, polysaccharides, and phenolic compounds including terpenoids, flavonoids, anthocyanins, and tannins are found in this medicinal plant. The aqueous, ethanolic, and methanolic extracts, as well as bioactive compounds, have anti-oxidative, hypoglycemic, nephroprotective, antimicrobial, neuroprotective, anti-mutagenic, hepatoprotective, anthelmintic, immune-modulatory, cardioprotective, and skin protecting activities. Mulberry supplementation in food products improves the stability of phenolics, sensory properties, antioxidant activity, and antimicrobial properties. Mulberry leaves in animal feed increase the nutrient digestibility, growth parameters, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: This review summarized the in vivo and in vitro biological activities of the mulberry and isolated constituents in various health conditions. In addition, the food uses such as antioxidant potential, antimicrobial, and physicochemical properties were discussed. Furthermore, in vivo studies revealed mulberry as a significant protein source and its flavonoids as potential animal foliage.

Keywords: anthelmintic; cardioprotective; hepatoprotective; nephroprotective; pharmacological activities; phytochemicals.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anthocyanins
  • Anti-Infective Agents* / pharmacology
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Flavonoids
  • Functional Food
  • Morus* / chemistry
  • Phenols
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plants, Medicinal*


  • Antioxidants
  • Anthocyanins
  • Plant Extracts
  • Flavonoids
  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Phenols